10/8/2007 12:00 AM
All too often, we read headlines about police officers, firefighters or other emergency responders being seriously injured or killed while working a roadside accident. In fact, approximately 40 percent of law enforcement officer deaths are traffic-related. Secondary crashes at the scene of the first collision account for 16 percent of all accidents and 18 percent of freeway deaths.
To improve responder and accident-scene safety, TEEX delivered free training to 180 first responders from around the state in September. Four special classes designed to teach critical survival and teamwork skills were offered at the Riverside Campus by three TEEX divisions: Engineering, Utilities & Public Works Training Institute, Public Safety & Security and Emergency Services Training Institute.
The workshops provided fire, police, emergency medical services (EMS) and other responders with the means work together to create a safer environment and expedite the road-clearing process in day and night situations. The highlight of the course was the replication of three accident scenes in which responders gained hands-on experience utilizing police, fire and EMS vehicles, as well as private-sector tow trucks and full-scale traffic-control set-ups.
The classes were funded by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration through the Texas Department of Transportation.